When you do it right, you end up with happy, satisfied clients who continue to work with you, pay you, and sing your praises.
When you do it wrong, well, I’m sure you’ve had an experience of signing up for something and… radio silence.
Uh… ok, so what’s next? What do I do now? I just paid you a chunk of change, and now, nothing?!
Or you finally hear from them but it’s unclear what your next step is supposed to be.
Or they give you access to an online portal, but the password they gave you doesn’t work.
Or they forget to schedule you.
Or any number of things.
Bottom line: It doesn’t feel good.
I know that when that happens to me, I feel resentful that I’ve made the purchase, I get skeptical because they seem disorganized and I wonder if they can actually follow through on the commitment, and I feel annoyed because I want to get going, and my password doesn’t work!!
Ok, so how do we do this differently? How do we make people feel so held, safe, loved and welcomed that they are THRILLED that they just paid you a bunch of money to work with you?
Honestly, it’s not that hard. Just create a system.
Here’s mine, nuts, bolts and all:
1. As soon as I hang up the phone after a consultation call in which someone has expressed their desire to work with me I send a welcome email. It lives in Gmail’s “canned responses” for easy access, and I customize it a tiny bit for each person. This email says (in a nutshell): Welcome, I am SO PSYCHED to work with you! Your first appointment is on XXX day. Here are your next steps (then I outline how they pay, that they will receive an online agreement to sign separately from my assistant, how to access our private resources page, and their assignment for before our first session).
2. I copy my assistant on this email, and she gets the agreement process going. She is also available to follow up on payment if we do not receive it promptly.
3. At this time, my assistant schedules their first session in Acuity, so that the client receives reminders.
4. She also adds them to my client list so that they receive a bi-weekly check-in form and any other announcements I need to make to my clients.
5. Finally (and to be totally honest, I haven’t done this since I had a baby!), I write a handwritten note welcoming them and send it in the mail with a special gift (this has ranged from a book I might think they like to an ammonite fossil – my logo symbol – to a pretty notebook).
And here’s the BIG BONUS…
You’ve created a system. A Standard Operating Procedure to be more specific. But basically, it’s a list of what you do every single time you bring a new client on.
So there is no scrambling to find your contract and re-do it. There is no forgetting to schedule someone. There are no materials hiding in some obscure folder that you’re supposed to send people but you forgot. There is no reinventing the wheel.
If you’ve been listening to me for any length of time, you know that I am a big fan of streamlining our businesses so that we can more time for the important stuff (be that money-making activities in our businesses or time chilling out in nature).
Having a standard, and codified (meaning, it’s written down as a list in a place you can find it) plan for onboarding not only makes your clients happy, it will make YOU happy because you will feel organized and have more time for the important stuff.
It also means you can easily pass it off to another staff person to do instead of you!
Just like the riverbank guides the flow of the river, structures and systems create freedom and flow in our businesses.
How relaxing! 🙂
PS – We have 2 SPOTS LEFT at the early bird rate for this year’s Replenish Retreat in January.